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ALEC: Uncovering the Mole in our State Legislatures

ALEC stands for American Legislative Exchange Council. It is an organization that, in principle, outlines issues that, in their opinion, need attention from legislative bodies. They work with state legislatures, identifying issues, drafting bills and lobbying with members of state legislative assemblies to pass them.

In principle this seem reasonable. It really isn’t possible for the typical state legislator to become familiar with arcane issues on matters like how much fertilizer is safe in the water tables, what kinds of compensation is reasonable for damage to the environment caused by corporate error, what sorts of labor or health concerns should be part of decisions in permitting new businesses, what sorts of topics should become taught in schools, what restrictions should be put on women’s health issues, what kinds of taxes should be reduced or raised.

But ALEC does not approach these important topics in a neutral or bipartisan manner. The measures they support, the manner in which they operate and the lobbying they do is and always has been tilted toward right-wing, pro-business causes. And, in recent years, they have become astonishingly effective.

ALEC, quite literally, now runs the state legislatures of dozens of states. They, quite literally, are busy writing the laws of the land. They are partisan in the extreme.

They have become rather like Fox News. As Fox operates as the propaganda arm of the Republican party, ALEC functions as its legislative branch. Over 2000 members of state legislatures around the country are members of ALEC — and virtually all of them are Republicans and virtually all are extreme right-wingers.

This has been known for some time but the extent of their operations and the insideous way in which this organization has taken over the legislative process in dozens of states has not really been appreciated — until just the other day when a local TV station in Atlanta did the best damn job of investigative reporting I think I’ve ever seen.

No description of it can match watching the full 6 minuets of the report on WXIA TV.

A Pulitzer is surely heading their way, of this I am sure. This video needs to go viral, so take a look and forward it as widely as possible. ALEC is undercutting democracy. They are a truly dangerous organization.

And, even more astonishing, as the video makes painfully clear, by blatantly misrepresenting themselves and their mission as an “educational” organization ALEC has managed to have been granted tax-exempt status from the IRS.

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